Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Prayer Request 3/12 - 3/18

Famous movie director Ang Lee received his second Oscar as the Best Director, and gave a great boost of pride to all Chinese. Immediately, the discussion erupted as to why “Mainland China cannot produce a ‘Lee Ang’?” Many attribute the problem to the censorship, not the lack of movie materials, in China. Christianity is still very much a foreign religion to most Chinese. Much of the Christian literature and thinking are Western based with little Chinese context. We pray for believers, writers and media people, who can project and promote the Gospel in Chinese well. We too pray that churches will engage the society and influence the culture effectively.
Many admire the diversity of the films Ang Lee has directed.. From "Lust, Caution" to "Brokeback Mountain", from "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" to "The Life of Pi" . He can treat each subject matter, exercising his artistic innovation, rather than the black-and-white morality play. Vast majority of church pulpit preaching in China is very standard and avoid addressing real-life tough issues, such as sins, temptations and homosexuality. It is our prayer that church leaders will be bold in teaching what is God’s desire for believers, and how we can live out His Holiness in a crooked world.
An inescapable question arose that is “who is the best contemporary Chinese director? Ang Lee or Zhang Yimou?” Critics say Lee’s movies have the Christian value - he pays detailed attention to humanity, seeking to explore the goodness of human beings. China churches have very little voice in term of social values and even morality in general. It is our prayer that Christians would be assertive in sharing the Biblical values, not as voice of condemnation but a powerful and gentle testimony of the truth.
Ang Lee said his father never expressed his support to go into films, but his father was instrumental in his movie career. Ang Lee said, "My father taught me what the Chinese culture is all about." Many young Chinese Christians struggle with the truth that “God is our Heavenly Father” because their own earthly fathers are distant and aloof. We pray also for those fathers who feel they have failed their duties - may the Lord give them opportunity to reclaim their spiritual headship at home.
Ang Lee's father is a classic Chinese father, introverted and honest, who uttered few words to show his affection for his children, but supported them quietly with action. When Lee went to America to study film, despite his father’s reluctance, his father gave him a movie camera as a parting gift. Chinese Christian fathers have a lot of improvement to do. They do not have any good role models and churches taught nothing about being a father. We pray especially for them to be more encouraging verbally and modeling the love of Jesus Christ for their children.
Lack of unity is a hidden but terrible problem among churches in China. Reasons for the persistent lack of unity is the past political persecution, geographical separation, vast economic and cultural differences. May the Lord forgive our pride and false humility. Neither is pleasing to Him at all. We pray for a true spirit of unity, so that we can see and imitate what is good in each other, and that we will all love the Lord more.
Preachers’ kids are taught to have a good example befitting a pastor’s family. They are also likely to be criticized for not meeting certain unrealistic expectations. We know that a preacher’s children are not necessarily godly, and the descendants of the righteous are not necessarily the same as their forefathers. Let us pray for all the children of the Chinese pastors and church leaders - may the Lord be gracious to them because of their parents who labored for God. We too ask the Lord to remind all the believers’ parents to never forget our responsibility to raise godly children.
台南出身的導演李安第二度拿下了奧斯卡最佳導演獎,被譽為「華人之光」。而中國主流的媒體人立刻探討為什麼中國本土出不了一個「李安」? 中國好電影的題材實在太多了,但是目前電影審查制度的確在某種程度上限制了藝術的創作。在大部分中國人的眼中,基督教仍是個外來的洋教,絕大多數的基督教文獻和思維也是西方式的,沒有中國色彩。我們為有更多的華人基督徒作家,媒體人,能帶著福音更深入走進華人的社會文化來禱告,讓教會不是與主流脫節,而是進入社會對文化產生積極的影響力。
許多人佩服李安勇於挑戰各種不同題材的電影。從 《色·戒》到 《斷背山》,從《臥虎藏龍》 《少年Pi 的奇幻漂流》導演在選擇題材上的多樣性,充分激發出的創作力,都能大有突破不至於淪於樣板戲。 多數的中國教會講台傾向於釋經,較少談及生活中的棘手問題,如罪,引誘及同性戀。求主垂聽我們的禱告,幫助傳道人能大膽的在聖經真理的根基上,將神的心意,和聖潔屬性,以及對罪惡的不妥協更有力地傳講清楚,幫助弟兄姊妹在彎曲悖逆的世代裡,靠主活出聖潔、敬虔的蒙福生活。
提到當代中國的著名導演,比較李安和張藝謀是個躲不開的話題。從李安的片子和他的言談看,他對人生的參悟是以基督教文化為基礎,李安拍的片子 更注重人性,更善於對人性本身的真善美進行發掘。論到社會價值觀,包括一般的道德議題,教會的聲音一向都是微弱的。 求主賜給基督徒力量,在分享屬聖經價值觀時,不是高姿態的批判或譴責世人,而是活出真實的屬神的生活見證上帝的信實。
導演李安說,父親從未表明支持他拍電影,但踏上電影之路,父親的確是關鍵人物,「父親告訴我中國文化是什麼樣子。」 許多年輕信徒無法體會:「上帝是我們的天父」,因為他們與肉身那個不流露愛意父親的心靈距離是遙不可及的。我們為那些覺得自己失職的父親們禱告,求主賜給機會修補親子關係,能成為屬靈的一家之主。
教會自身隱藏的危機之一是不能合一。由於政治、歷史、地域、經濟及文化等等因素,中國教會彼此分門別類、各自為政的現象是眾所皆知的。求主赦免我們的驕傲,挪去祂所不喜悅的自誇、虛假的謙卑, 願主賜給教會之間有合一的靈,能看見別人的可取之處進而學習、讚美 ,並且能愈發熱心愛主。

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